The latest terrorist incident in which a Nigerian man attempted to explode a bomb on a plane bound for Detroit has planted yet another dose of fear into the American psyche. Our society lives in constant fear of the next big terrorist attack, as visions of the 9/11 nightmare continue to plague our minds. But Americans must accept this reality; while terrorists remain a distinct danger, the greatest threat to our national security is the violence within our own society.
Remember the insightful words of Pogo, the legendary comic strip character who said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo could not have been more right. Look around, do you not see what is happening in America and what we are doing to ourselves?
Violence in America, in all its many forms, is running rampant before our very eyes. But we seem to be so obsessed with the fear of terrorist threats from abroad that we hardly notice the violence being committed on a daily basis within our society. Over time, we apparently have become so mentally conditioned that this violence has now become a normal part of our culture. A passage from the Bible states, "There will always be wars," and, perhaps, in our minds we have come to accept "there will always be violence."
The tragedy of 9/11 resulted in the loss of about 3,000 people, certainly a day of infamy. But let's take a look at the extent of violence being committed within this nation, for the large part, by Americans against their fellow Americans. These statistics are for the year 2008, but they are representative of the trend in the last decade.
Murders - 16,272
Rapes - 89,000
Robberies - 441,855
Assaults - 834,855